Unfortunately, none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes from time to time, but did you know that you could unknowingly be putting your health at risk right now? From listening to music too loudly to slouching at your desk, take a look at five of the worst health mistakes you could be making right now.

1. Not drinking enough water

Did you know that thirst can be a sign that you are already dehydrated? Two-thirds of our bodies are made up of water so it’s no surprise that we need to drink a lot of fluid to keep these levels topped up . Of course, feeling a little thirsty every once in awhile is not necessarily a cause for concern but ensuring your body has enough fluids is vital in keeping your energy up, organs healthy, helping to detoxify the body and improving digestion. Water is also vital in keeping your skin clear and healthy.

Keep a record of the fluid that you drink so that you can see the levels of water you are consuming. And keep a bottle of water in your bag and on your desk to make sure you drink from it regularly. Some advice states that you should drink eight glasses of water a day, but this level can vary from person to person depending on how much exercise you do and the climate.

2. Poor posture from sitting all day

Office workers in particular, listen up. Poor posture as a result of sitting at your desk all day can cause back and spine problems, headaches, poor circulation and reduced lung function. A number of research studies have found that prolonged periods of sitting can also put you at risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, increased blood pressure and heart disease, even if you are otherwise physically active.

To sit in the correct position at your desk , push your hips back in the chair as far as they can go, ensure both feet are flat on the floor and your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. Although this position might seem uncomfortable at first, your body will soon get used to it and in the long run, your body will thank you for it. Also try to move around frequently throughout the day, as even the smallest activities repeated regularly can offset some of the health problems caused by sitting. And when you are out of the office, make an effort to exercise regularly and be as active as possible.

3. Listening to music too loudly

You might listen to music during your commute, at the gym or while you’re at work but do you ever think about the volume you listen to your favourite tunes at? If you are frequently exposing yourself to music that’s too loud then it could cause lasting damage to your hearing. You won’t notice the effects of this health mistake right away, as the hearing problems that come as a result of listening to loud music develop over time. The damage can cause irreversible effects such as tinnitus (ringing) and muffled hearing.  

A study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that people use personal audio devices at an average of 94 decibels (to put it in perspective, normal conversation is usually around 60 decibels.) To give yourself the best chance of protecting your hearing, invest in some noise-cancelling headphones. These will block out background noise that most people try to drown out by increasing the volume of a normal set of headphones. Also, give your ears regular 20-minute breaks when listening to music to allow them time to recover.

4. Hitting the snooze button

The snooze button is many people’s best friend in the morning and some don’t even think about getting out of bed until they’ve hit it a few times, but as good as a few stolen minutes might feel at the time, it could be bad news for your sleeping pattern. When your alarm initially goes off, your body prepares itself to get up but when you hit the snooze button, it can confuse your brain and leave you feeling groggy and sleepy than when your alarm first went off.

The best thing to do is to set an alarm that goes off at the same time every day and get up when it goes off. No more hitting snooze! After so long, your body will get used to the consistency of waking up at the same time every day and eventually, your body may even wake up naturally at that time, without an alarm.

5. You brush your teeth just after eating

You’re probably thinking that brushing your teeth after eating is the right thing to do, but it can be harmful to your teeth. Brushing soon after eating anything acidic or sugary including fruit and juices can lead to weakened tooth enamel. Whenever you eat anything acidic, it causes the pH levels in your mouth to drop below normal and as a result, your tooth enamel softens and becomes vulnerable. So if you brush your teeth after eating acidic food, you run the risk of removing the softened enamel.

Instead, brush your teeth before you eat anything acidic. You can rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating these foods, but avoid going in with the brush until at least 40 minutes after you have consumed the acidic food, as it takes this long for pH levels to return to normal.